Friday, March 28, 2008

Saving Money With Being Eco-Friendly

I've always been an eco-friendly gal. In fact, I have quite a few friends who refer to me as the "hippy". It's not just the interest I've had in environmentalism since I was a child (seriously, my mother would buy me books on the subject), but my liberal stance on many issues.

I've realized lately though that I'm definetly not doing my share in the world. I use paper towels; I print up plenty of stuff for school that I could attempt not to; I don't buy all organic products (although in the shift).

How does this effect me financially? I've been wanting to subscribe to two different magazines for some time now. I LOVE getting magazine subscriptions in the mail. I nearly sent off for a subscription today when I took another moment to think about it. How much paper would that be using up just to sate my lust for reading? How many books do I already own (over 300)? How many pieces of paper, trees, and pollution went into that? In reality, I could read wine reviews online easily. I could find political articles like they have in Vanity Fair easily online.

In reality, I don't need magazine subscriptions when I can get that information online. In the process, I save myself money as well as helping the environment.

Beyond that, there are so many ways that eco-friendly products will save you money in the long run. A pack of dishtowels will cost more initially, but over time will last a lot longer than the equivalent rolls of paper towels in terms of price. My previous post on starting an herb garden will require an initial output of money, but once again will save me uber-amounts of money in the long run. B and I use garlic, jalapenos, green onions, cilantro and tomatoes on a weekly basis. I use rosemary and thyme a couple times a week. We'll be saving money, but we'll know for a fact that we are gardening our products without pesticides. Furthermore, the products won't be shipped.

I currently re-use the stockpile of Trader Joe paper bags I have. Once those give out, I'm going to get a cloth bag to carry my groceries in. B and I will often walk to little eateries around here instead of driving. There's lots of little changes that can add up in the long run.

How do you save money while being eco-friendly?


SavingDiva said...

I have to admit that I'm a recycling junkie. You may find me sifting through office paper in the garbage to put it in the recyling bin...but money

I use very little electricity. My bill last month was $13. I turn lights off when I leave the room. I also recently switched to CFLs (totally about 2 months ago). I also hook my TV, DVD player, stereo, and computer to a power strip that I turn off when I leave for an extended period of time (usually weekend trips or longer). I also only run my dishwasher when it's full.

I'm also a huge fan of rechargable batteries. My dad purchased the charger as a gift, and I've been addicted. I love just popping the batteries into the charger instead of having to purchase new ones.

I'm going to switch to homemade cleaners (vinegar, baking soda, etc) and stop using harsh chemicals. I found a few recipes on different blogs, and I think it will really be inexpensive.

I also return cans (for the refund) to the store for a little change in my pocket.

I'm also a fan of reusing bags. I'm starting to run low, so I need to look into purchasing a few reusable bags. I'm thinking about picking up a few of the $1 bags from Trader Joe's ($.03-$0.10 discount per bag).

Anonymous said...

If you've got a dollar store near you, start there when looking for dishtowels, bags, etc. I have a bunch of cloth bags that I've gotten at various conferences for free over the years, and I use those as my grocery bags.

I also bought a pack of 5 dishtowels for $.99 at the dollar store a couple of months ago; that was to add to my stock so that I don't have to do laundry as often. I also splurged last year on some really nice cloth napkins, so I have a great set of those and don't have to use paper napkins. (Woohoo!)

Alas, I haven't completely broken myself of the magazine habit, but I have reduced my subscription from three magazines to one. Can't completely go cold turkey, though...

Jerry said...

Good for you for being eco friendly and wanting to live your life in a sustainable financial way. It's insurance for your own life and also for the environment. There are so many ways to be eco friendly and save money. They go hand in hand. One great way is using CFL's. I think you can pretty much get these anywhere. Walmart's even selling them. They use a fraction of the energy of a traditional bulb. Turning of your lights, Insulating windows. There are so many things you can do.


Nova @ Grow Herb Garden said...

I love your attitude towards finances and your life in general. Truly, living a healthy lifestyle and contributing more to the environment will lead to more savings. And I love your insight on starting a herb garden. You may cost you a little to start, but the benefits will certainly last you for a long time. And gardening can be therapeutic, too. When everything feels toxic and insane.

Good luck to you!